WPY 2017

Photograph Details

Finalist 2017

The Wildlife Photojournalist Award: Single Image

Bence Máté, Hungary

The bird rack

Grilled, pickled or boiled – around two million protected birds die each year for the traditional Cypriot dish of ambelopoulia. Poachers catch the unsuspecting song birds by coating branches with a sticky glue and luring them to the trap with recorded sounds. Once stuck, the birds are left to die agonising deaths.

Although the practice of bird trapping is illegal, the poachers, dealers and restaurants serving ambelopoulia are rarely brought to justice. The toll of this horrific practice continues to rise with populations of nearly 40 migratory songbird species in decline. For Bence, it is ‘one of the biggest conservation failures of our time’.

Technical specification

Canon EOS-1D X; 200–400mm f4 lens; 1/1000 sec at f8; ISO 2000.

Cyprus: latitude 35.01176, longitude 33.134212 Cyprus: latitude 35.01176, longitude 33.134212


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Bence Máté, Hungary

Bence is a wildlife photographer from Hungary. Since 2008 he has been designing wildlife photography hides around the world including Hungary, Costa Rica, Brazil, Norway, South Africa and Transylvania (Romania). He was named Wildlife Photographer of the Year in 2010.

  • Lunge feeding
  • Ant rider
  • The great gape
  • Pelican perspective
  • Flight of the hoopoe
  • Brilliant show
  • Great catch
  • The lost supper
  • Workers' reflections
  • Fire on the Pantanal
  • King of the vultures
  • Leg-work
  • Attention time
  • A marvel of ants
  • Caiman's little mouthful
  • Herons in time and space
  • Portrait of a pelican
  • Hanger-trap